Top Cyclists Will Be Heading Downhill at Big Bear Event

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Some of the world’s best downhill racers and the leading contenders to make the 1996 U.S. Summer Olympic cross-county teams will compete this weekend in the Big Bear mountain bike competition at Snow Summit ski area.

Big Bear, the fifth of seven U.S. tour stops this year, will feature the Grundig-GT World Cup downhill, running from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. today. The downhill is the only international race being contested this weekend.

Competing are world champion Francois Gachet of France, former world champion Mike King of Chula Vista and Jimmy Kight of Durango, Colo. Giovanna Bonazzi of Italy and Elke Brutsaert of Durango will lead the women in the absence of Missy Giove, also of Durango. Giove suffered a broken collarbone in a race last month.


Dual slalom finals are scheduled to begin at 5:30 today. Sunday will feature the Jeep cross-country national competition beginning at 10:40 a.m. for women, 12:40 p.m. for men. Cross-country racing will make its debut as an Olympic medal sport in 1996 at Atlanta.

The leading women entered are Juli Furtado of Durango, Susan Demattei of Fairfax, Calif., and Sarah Ballantyne of Breckenridge, Colo. The men’s favorites are Thinker Juarez of Sugar Loaf, Calif., Don Myrah of Saratoga, Calif., and Ned Overend and John Tomac of Durango.